Why do Moms Scrapbook?

This entry is part 36 of 86 in the series Scrapworthy Lives Results

Here’s another post from my dissertation.

It should surprise no one that pregnant women and new moms (and not-so-new moms) take up scrapbooking in larger numbers than child-free women or dads. The question is why. Why do moms scrapbook? It doesn’t seem sensible to take up a new hobby at the same time a person is becoming a new parent.

Scrapbooking, however, is a different type of hobby. Other researchers have studied women’s participation in hobbies such as dog sports (Gillespie et al. 2002) and whitewater kayaking (Bartram 2001). These hobbies force women to choose between their hobby and their family on many occasions. Scrapbooking is a hobby that allows women to remain fully committed to both their family and their hobby. One common strategy for mothers who wish to scrapbook is to do so once her children are asleep. Other hobbies are not so accommodating. For example, dog sports require care of the dogs on a daily basis and the competitions take place on weekends while children are awake. Women’s participation in hobbies has involved disregarding traditional gender roles within the family (Gillespie et al. 2002; Raisborough 1999) or suspending leisure activities while children are dependent (Bialeschki 1994). Among my respondents, neither is true.

Many of my respondents are not only mothers, but mothers of infants and pre-school aged children who require full-time care. These women are not suspending their leisure activities while their children are dependent. Scrapbooking can be done in the home while children sleep, allowing women to do both their hobby and motherhood during the same period of time. 

I did ask my respondents what their children did while they scrapbooked. Many either had dad entertain the children or waited until their children were asleep to scrapbook. If you are a mom and a scrapbooker, how do you find time to scrapbook with children? For me it has depended on my daughter’s age. A year ago (when she was two), she needed to be entertained by someone else or asleep. Now that she is three, she wants to participate. She sits on a stool and watches (and makes suggestions) me scrapbook. I’ve set-up a little desk for her next to my scrap-space and she sometimes uses that to make art, too. I think I am going to have buy her own scrapbook supplies. She likes to use my paper trimmer and uses it often enough that she really needs her own. She also needs a container of scrapbook supplies that she can search while working. She has an art-stash in another part of the house, but I really need to giver her a scrapbook-art-stash in the scrap-space because she recently started making some of her own scrapbook pages. Sometimes she will play in her room (which is right around the corner from my scrap-space).


Bartram, Sherry A. 2001. “Serious Leisure Careers Among Whitewater Kayakers: A Feminist Perspective.” World Leisure 43(2):4-11.

Bialeschki, M. Deborah. 1994. “Re-entering Leisure: Transition Within the Role of Motherhood.” Journal of Leisure Research 26(1):57-74.

Gillespie, Dair L., Ann Leffler, and Elinor Lerner. 2002. “If it Weren‟t for My Hobby, I’d Have a Life: Dog Sports, Serious Leisure, and Boundary Negotiations.” Leisure Studies 21(3&4):285-304.

Raisborough, Jayne. 1999. “Research Note: The Concept of Serious Leisure and Women’s Experiences of the Sea Cadet Corps.” Leisure Studies 18(1):67-71.
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  • Scrapbooking is an easy hobby to take up as a mother. I’ve been a scrapbooker most of my life, took a break after college, only to start up again after I had my first child. I found time, like other mothers, during naps and bedtime. And now that both my girls are older, they like to join in when possible, paint or cut paper and play with stickers or punches.  This is such a wonderful hobby to share with family and pass down to children.

  • Thanks for commenting and your insight. Was there a reason you stopped after college? Do you think you would have come back to scrapbooking if you hadn’t had children?

  • I guess I wasn’t taking as many photos after college. And yes, I do believe that I would have eventually gotten back into scrapbooking…and had more time to do it without the kiddos!

  • Thanks for following-up. I think there are a lot people who do some sort of scrapbooking in high school or college and then come back to it later.